SSi Forum

Breakthroughs: Does anybody have small successes/breakthroughs speaking Cymraeg they want to share?


Hoping this will encourage. Not really about me except to say that anyone would be able to do this if I can.

I’ve been around the forum for few years now but remember when I started and was too nervous to speak. After many small steps, I now have little conversations in work throughout the day about real life things - all thanks to SSi and the forum. One of the main things for me has been confidence over fear.

Moving on, I have now completed the shorter SSiManx course which is a great way to move into Gaelic as it is in my opinion, the nearest Gaelic language to Welsh.

From there I have started to learn Scottish Gaelic, and have taken the step of pushing myself straight into speaking, rather than holding on for years as I did in Welsh. It definitely seems to be paying off.

Just as a footnote - My daughter has told me that one of our grandaughters is starting to learn the Twi dialect of Ghanaian from our son in law. So I have dipped my foot in the water and have learnt three words (How are you?). Then I tried them out on my son in law via voice recorder and he answered.

No going back now! As I said - Reason for posting is to spur you all on. Even if like me you only have three words.


Brilliant John - no stopping you now! You’re becoming an amlieithydd goiawn! (real polyglot!) :star2:


Dim cweit (Not really) :smiley:


Only twice each? I have done challenge 14 four times and sent a question to the forum. Think I may have a go at 15 today.


Thats impressive @Howard. I’m inspired. I’ve been given the challenge by my local butchers to come in and only speak Welsh to him…including ordering all my meat. I love a challenge. Keep it up.


Do move onto 15! I didn’t wait until I could do them, and it actually got easier after that. Before you know it you’ll be talking about meeting sisters and telling someone who worked with your brother with ease :grinning:


So I’m doing pretty well at the challenge and managing to get most of the Welsh out in time and then Aran comes out with some phrase like “blah blah feel like doing something interesting” which was fine, but caught me out - I was slowed down by trying to work out what the Welsh was for diddorol. I even had to go back and check that Aran had actually said “interesting” and not “diddorol”.
Clearly the rewiring in my brain is still a work-in-progress!


That’s great. Did I understand correctly that your brain understood something and you weren’t sure which language it was in? If so, that’s a real step forward.


I have to say that I think ssiw is amazing, I tell everyone about it! I went to a lovely Welsh chat evening last night and chatted to compete strangers in Welsh for 3 hours! I understood most of the general conversation (I think!) and I could speak enough Welsh to join in naturally and have a fantastic time. I’m glad that the course teaches you how to say ‘I’m surprised at how much I can say in a short time’ because I used that one :grinning:


That’s brilliant, Emma. Da iawn . You’ll soon tune in to them.

Just to say that I was back in Llandysul working for the tarmac gang from Lampeter, who were the first to ever speak Welsh with me a couple of years ago. I remember that being a terrifying experience and not realising what they had actually said until I had got home. :smiley:

What a difference today was, just chatting normally with them; Wow. Also chatting to residents and me understanding most of it. One lady even started copying me, as if I was speaking some sort of cool big city Welsh :smiley: Fair play, that did throw me a bit. To be fair they loved my Swansea/Bangor hybrid dialect.


Hi Howard! Yes- I run a Gwesty in Llanberis with my wife and last weekend we had a mother and daughter stay . They were both north Wales ladies so I decided I would converse only in Cymraeg with them! I’ve been[quote=“Howard, post:1, topic:6708, full:true”]
Today I successfully paid my Council Tax (Treth Cyngor) yn Gymraeg for the first time! I started SSiW in March this year so this is remarkable progress for me. I asked for a Skype coaching session with @margaretnock first to practice and run through what the usual, fairly predictable format is. Armed with my cribsheet I nervously picked up the phone, the woman I spoke to was friendly and welcoming and it seemed like it was successful, I now hope that I didn’t say to many '0’s and I get a rude awakening when I look at my bank account! Has anybody else had a breakthrough that’s done wonders for their confi

learning for 10 months and just completed level 3. They realised I was a beginner and spoke to me slowly but I was able to check that they were ok, that they had slept well, what they wanted for breakfast and chatted about their plans for the day. Not perfect but a great confidence boost and (like everyone in the village) they were very supportive of my endeavours to learn Welsh !


I have had an actual whole phone call in Welsh today, quite by surprise!

I was half way through level 2 at the beginning of this year but have taken a break because of work (NHS consultant) but I am looking at restarting. I booked some much need annual leave in a few weeks times to stay at the glorious Nant Gwrtheryn (lesson are all cancelled but the accommodation has now reopened so at least I can be in the best location to restart!). I had to renew my Cyfeillion Nant Gwrtheryn ( which I would recommend everyone to get because the discounts are great [language courses, food, accommodation] and all money goes back to the Nant), and I did the whole thing completely in Welsh. It took me completely by surprise and I actually selected the English button but I got through to someone I know and then it all happened from there! I was quite surprised that I didn’t even really think about what I was saying it all just sort of flowed back and forth and was quite natural.

So the message is, dal ati and it will come! Promise!


That’s brilliant, Michael! You must feel so proud of yourself! :clap:


A couple of further milestones here. I had a break in Wales last week and for the first time was brave enough to order meals in Welsh wherever I went. I even got all the right food too. :slightly_smiling_face:

And that spurred me on to finish the Deep End/Level 3 course when I got back, which I have just completed tonight. Gorffenedig.

This whole thing is changing my life, much for the better. Diolch yn fawr, @aran and SSiW.


So this one really is tiny but…

I have the exciting task of doing the weekly shop in our household. Aldi now have a big long announcement every 15 minutes or so, explaining the covid rules. Being in Wales, this is bilingual and probably drives their employees mad!

However, to make a boring task more interesting, I try to pick out at least 1 new word from the Welsh version every run through. I was delighted to pick out ‘Cymdeithasol’ this week and get a little further every time.

I told you it was small but a learning opportunity in an unlikely place!


You have to grab them when and wherever they come!


That’s great. Its also worth taking real notice of the aisle signs. You can learn so much from them. Road signs, particularly ones at roadworks, are great for phrases, although they tend slightly towards written Welsh.


I recalled this little spirit lifter to Nia on Slack a while back, and she said I should share it.

I was into week 10 of level 1 and Welsh was bouncing around the old noggin. My wife and I decided to take a long walk up and over the Cribarth behind us, whilst doing a spot of Welsh homework.

We were heading back when a farmer on a quad bike stopped us and started chatting. When he heard that I’ve just moved here from England he asked “well…can you speak welsh yet”?

It just rolled off with great surprise ”Dw i newydd ddechrau dysgu cymraeg. Dw I wedi bod yn dysgu am biti mis nawr”

He just turned the quad bike round and shouted back as he rode off…“good luck with that one bach, too hard for me”.

Although a little waisted, it gave me immense satisfaction to say my first proper Welsh sentence out load.


Love this!


Were your ears burning Aran??

So, here’s another little one for you……name dropping I know but you’ll see why.

Going back to where I started on this journey.
Around 6 months ago I was flipping through Face Book and catching up with family around the world when an advert for SSIW popped up with Carol Vorderman being coached by Aran. That sounds good I thought and off I went on the SSIW journey and I was hooked.

Six months down the line I get a call to go back to work for a few days in London as Site Production Manager for a TV awards ceremony. Who should pop up as our presenter but the lovely Carol Vorderman. So, as my highs and lows of this journey were all her fault in the first place, I thought it time to brave it and say Diolch and fawr iawn and have a very quick ( socially distanced ) chat in Welsh. There was a funny moment when I realised she was speaking Gogledd Cymraeg but was forgiven instantly of cause.

So, there you go, another chance to flex the Welsh speaking muscles, all be it more falling over laughing at our incorrect use of the language, but we tried. Long may the course continue, and Carol sends her and support to everyone that is also braving the challenges.